Wedding Advice

Real brides share tips on picking the perfect bridesmaid

Bridesmaids can sometimes make, or break, your big day. So choose them with care! These 10 brides shared with us how they decided on their bridal party.

Friends forever
"Pick your closest and dearest friend as your bridesmaid. She'll know best how to tackle your ups and downs during the often-stressful preparatory months." - Pearlyn, marketing executive

Choose carefully
"Have just one bridesmaid, preferably a sister or close friend. One, it saves you money. Two, it takes away all the headache of coordinating women with different likes and dislikes. There's also less likelihood of offending someone unintentionally." - Anita, human resource manager

"I wouldn't pick anyone who's too pretty or supermodel-thin. I wouldn't want her stealing the limelight on my wedding day!" - June, marketing manager

"Don't pick bridesmaids simply because they're relatives. You'll strain family relationships should anything go wrong - and there'll be no way to avoid them at get-togethers." - Catherine, assistant art director

"Avoid demanding girlfriends who expect nothing but the best, for instance designer dresses. Those types will only add woe to your wedding day." - Emilyn, graphic designer

Related: Unhappy bridesmaid? Here's what you should do

Image from abrantesrebeca/facebook

Include your guy friends

"I had 2 of my close guy friends as my bridesmaids. We've been friends for over a decade and I didn't want to exclude them out just because it isn't the norm to do so. Everything turned out well and they grew close to my other girlfriends!" - Kimmie, personal trainer

Keep calm and carry on
"Choose friends with even temperaments. They are cool and can calm you down should anything upset you. Reward them with something special after the wedding. I treated my hard-working bridesmaid (and myself) to a day at the spa. We had a most relaxing time!" - Carole, homemaker

"Choose someone who's dependable, organised and can work well under pressure. Important qualities that ensure your wedding runs smoothly." - Marianne, headhunter

Related: 8 things you shouldn't expect your bridesmaids to do

Timing is everything
"Try not to choose friends with busy work schedules. They won't be able to give you their full attention or help much." - Kathy, designer

"Don't tell your bridesmaids their duties at the last minute. It's impossible to expect them to do anything properly - and they're not going to be happy about it." - Penny, teacher

"Your bridesmaid may not be free when you need her at a particular time. Give her advance notice so she can plan her personal time and office work to fit your schedule." - Luanne, theatre coordinator

Be understanding

"If you're picking bridesmaids with children, be understanding about their less flexible schedule, and give them lighter responsibilities." - Kelly, banker 

See also: 10 online fashion retailers with affordable bridesmaids dresses